Rap Meanings


William Shakespeare:

Come bite my thumb! I hope you know the stakes!

(In Shakespeare's time, the biting of one's thumb was considered an insult, roughly an equivalent of giving someone the middle finger. Thumb biting is also what starts the feud between the two families in Shakespeare's famous play, Romeo & Juliet. Shakespeare uses this gesture to let Dr. Seuss know who he's dealing with.)

I'll put a slug between your shoulder blades,

("Slug" here refers to a bullet slug. Shakespeare will shoot Seuss between his shoulder blades, or the head. A common punishment in Shakespeare’s time was to bend someone over at the waist pin their arms outstretched to the sides and place a weight between their shoulder blades.)

Then ask what light through yonder poser breaks?

(This is based on a famous line in Romeo & Juliet, in which Romeo says, "But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?" After shooting Seuss, Shakespeare will marvel at the light passing through the bullet hole in Seuss' body, finding it more interesting then Seuss' work. Poser is a term for someone who is a fake, so Shakespeare is implying Seuss isn't a real author.)

I hath been iambic on that ass, ye bastard!

(Shakespeare writes his rhymes on an iambic pentameter, a rare and classic meter in rapping. Iambic pentameter involves a ten-syllable line consisting of five iambi ("legs"); each iambus possesses one stressed syllable and one unstressed syllable. He counts each syllable with his fingers, saying he'll use all five fingers to whup Seuss' ass. Shakespeare used iambic pentameter in the three previous lines. This line is also technically iambic hexameter, in that is has six iambi (twelve syllables) instead of five.)

My rhymes are classic! Your crap is drafted by a kindergartner high on acid!

(Shakespeare's works are original and timeless. Seuss' works are simplistic and seem to be drawn by a little kid who has taken hallucinogens.)

Ye hoebag! You're an old white Soulja Boy who has no swag,

("Hoebag" is a word that means "whore," and Shakespeare uses this to call Seuss an elderly Caucasian with low standards and lack of swag, or acting in a cool fashion. Soulja Boy is widely derided for his lack of lyrical and technical ability, but he does have swag. Seuss wrote in simple sentences, so Shakespeare compares his simplistic writing to Soulja Boy's lyrics, making him inferior in a rap battle. Incidentally, Shakespeare also invented the word "swagger", from which "swag" is derived; A Midsummer Night's Dream contains the first recorded instance of the word.)

And no gonads. Egads, it's so sad!

("Gonads" is a broad term for the principal sex organs, i.e. a man's testes or a woman's ovaries. Shakespeare says that Seuss doesn't have testicles. Egads is another old-timey word expressing one's surprise. Shakespeare is surprised at how unmanly and weak Seuss appears to be.)

And to top it off, you're not a doctor.

(Dr. Seuss is an alias since he is not an actual doctor, though his parents wished he had become one.)

I've never seen a softer author!

(To call someone a "soft rapper" means to call them a poser, so calling Seuss a soft author means he's only a wannabe author, and his literary work lacks substance. Seuss' works are mostly designed for children, even though he is also a political cartoonist.)

You crook, you. I bet you wrote the Twilight books, too!

(The Twilight books are widely regarded as one of the worst book series of all time. Shakespeare says Seuss' work is a fraud, and it's so bad, he may have even written the entire Twilight series. Ironically, the author of the series, Stephenie Meyer, says that she drew inspiration for the books from some of Shakespeare's plays, mainly A Midsummer Night's Dream.)

The Cat in the Hat:

I would not, could not, on a boat,

(Instead of rapping against Shakespeare himself, Dr. Seuss paints the Cat in the Hat in to rhyme for him. This is a line from Seuss' book, Green Eggs and Ham, in which a character named Sam I Am offers the narrator some green eggs and ham, and the narrator responds saying that he "would not, could not [eat them] on a boat," as well as several other places.)

Read any of the boring-ass plays you wrote!

(The Cat in the Hat wouldn't want to read Shakespeare's plays because they are considered to be extremely elongated and boring.)

Even Horton doesn't want to hear you,

(Horton the Elephant is one of Seuss' characters from the book Horton Hears A Who. He heard a speck of dust talking to him, which was really a small planet inhabited by the Whos in Whoville. Horton was the most compassionate character in his story and the only character of his book who was interested in what the Whos had to say; however, even Horton wouldn't want to hear Shakespeare.)

And Cindy Lou Who is afraid to go near you!

(One of the aforementioned Whos is named Cindy Lou Who, who is the only Who that approached the Grinch in Seuss' book How The Grinch Stole Christmas. If she would go near the Grinch but be scared of Shakespeare, he must be really bad.)

You bore people to death!

(Shakespeare's plays are normally read in high school classes, and some of them are so long that reading them can easily become uninteresting.)

You leave a classroom looking like the end of Macbeth!

(Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's plays, has several main characters die by the end of the story. The Cat says that most students, if not all of them, that read Shakespeare's plays die of boredom, or at least make them sleep from a lack of interest.)

I entertain a child of any age!

(The Cat in the Hat, and to an extent, Dr. Seuss, leaves children entertained, as well as an older audience.)

You gotta translate what you said on the opposite page!

(Shakespeare used Early Modern English in his works. As such, many words and phrases he used are difficult to understand because they've been unused, so many modern printings of his works have the original on the left page and a translation on the right page, as you hold it open.)

How you gonna battle with the Cat in the Hat?

(The Cat in the Hat says Shakespeare doesn't have a chance against him.)

Little kids get scared when I step on the mat!

(The Cat in the Hat was known for his mischievous manner, so when he enters the house, normally stepping on the mat, the kids know he'll be causing trouble.)

You think your ruffled-neck ass gonna rap to that?

(Ruffled necks are a famous piece of fashion in Shakespeare's time. The Cat thinks someone wearing something as ridiculous as that can't beat him in a rap battle.)

I got a best-selling book about me coming back!

(The Cat in the Hat had a second book, appropriately named The Cat in the Hat Comes Back. This is also another way of him saying that he has better comebacks, or retorts, than Shakespeare.)

William Shakespeare:

I'm switching up my style like the Beatles with my pieces.

(The Beatles are widely regarded as one of the best bands of all time. Shakespeare says that he is on the same level of literature as the Beatles are in music, and that he will change the style of his works, like the Beatles did with their songs, as Shakespeare was known for writing various genres of stories, while Seuss normally wrote one style. He also switches up his style in terms of changing from iambic meter to unbelievably rapid rhyming.)

Each is such a wonder with a plethora of features.

(Every one of Shakespeare's plays leave audiences in awe with lots of features and gimmicks in it compared to Seuss'.)

You're pathetically predictable.

(Shakespeare says that Seuss is so repetitive that it's easy to conclude what happens next, so his imagination is nothing new.)

You think your new book might include a trisyllabic meter and some ghetto Muppet creatures.

(Seuss' books are written in a trisyllabic meter, and usually includes drawings of the characters involved. Shakespeare says the characters look like strange Muppets. In addition to this, there was a show called, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, with puppets of Seuss' characters from The Jim Henson Company.)

The Bard is in the building. It's a castle; I'm the boss!

(Shakespeare's nickname is "The Bard of Avon". He says he's in the house, and that the house is so big, it's a castle, which is a much more impressive building. As a result of being in the castle, Shakespeare says that he is a boss, a term typically referring to someone who is in higher authority than those around him.)

I bet I'm parliament. I'm positive I'm killing it.

(Some of Seuss' books are political and try to bring down parliament, which is the British legislature, whereas parliaments are difficult to be brought down. Shakespeare says that he's sure that he's more powerful than parliament, and Seuss can't bring him down.)

I'm iller than the plague I've never caught, or cholera.

(Shakespeare's rhymes are deadlier than the Black Plague, a famous disease that killed millions of people in Europe in the Middle Ages. He also never caught the plague, so he claims that his rhymes are sicker than the plague. Cholera is a water-based disease that can be caught by drinking or coming into contact with contaminated water. Shakespeare says that he is so sick that he has never caught the disease, as he is sicker than the disease, as well as the plague.)

A baller baller on some cricket bowler business while you're sitting in the bleachers!

(A baller is usually someone who's big and famous, which is Shakespeare in this case. It can also refer someone who has balls. Cricket is a sport similar to baseball which is played in a range of different countries around the world. In cricket, the bowler is the player who pitches the ball towards the batsman, so Shakespeare would be the one to be the star player, metaphorically, and Seuss is only watching from the sidelines.)

The Cat in the Hat:

You rap fast, you do. Yes, you rap fast, it's true.

(Shakespeare's last verse was delivered very speedily.)

Now let's see how you rap versus Things 1 and 2!

(The Cat in the Hat prepares Shakespeare to go up against Things 1 and 2.)

Things 1 & 2:

Oh, no, we'll smash your globe!

(The Globe was a theater made for Shakespeare and his plays, and Things 1 & 2 are going to trash it.)

Yo, you may have wrote the script, but now we running the show!

(While Shakespeare may have written the script for the play, it is the actors that run the show. Things 1 & 2 are presumably going to be the ones to take charge now.)

You can take your fancy words and send 'em back home to your mama!

(Shakespeare made up words, like "puke", "eyeball", and "cater". The Things tell him his fancy language should be sent back home to his mother.)

Break our foot off in your ass with our feetie pajamas!

(Things 1 & 2 wear feetie pajamas, and they're going to kick Shakespeare's ass with them.)

Man, we'll cook you up and eat you with some ham and green eggs!

(Green Eggs and Ham is the name of a Seuss book. The Things will cook Shakespeare up with them.)

We'll break offa your legs, make no mistake, we in a rage!

("Break a leg" is a theater or performance saying meant for good luck. Here, Things 1 & 2 imply they will literally rip off Shakespeare's legs. Their usual behavior makes them look like they're in a rage. They may also be saying just because they are small doesn't mean they can't get angry.)

All does not end well when we bust out our cage!

(All's Well That Ends Well is the title of one of Shakespeare's plays, and Things 1 & 2 are kept in a cage as to avoid them creating havoc, which they will do now that they're let out, so it will not end well anymore for Shakespeare.)

You're getting upstaged, Bill. Yo, you just got played!

(The Things call William Shakespeare "Bill", since "Bill" is a nickname of the name William. Upstaged is a term when an actor is eclipsed by another (presumably better) actor. The last line is a play on words, namely "PLAYed", as Shakespeare was a playwright. "To have been played" means that a person has been tricked or has otherwise been taken advantage of by the "player". It may also be a play on the word "playbill", which is a poster that advertises a play.)

Rap Meanings
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